How do we find resilience in times of hardship? Do we already have it in us? If not, can we work on building it up?
Resilience- the capacity to recover quickly from tough situations and difficulties.
In my recently published ‘Polish Girl; In Pursuit of the English Dream’ memoir, I described many tough, negative, painful situations that I had to face during my ‘immigrant journey’ in England. The reason why I wanted to share it all is that I wanted to show how I overcame all the challenges that life threw at me; having no money, no place to live, losing the so-called friends, partners, dealing with work exploitation and sexual harassment, constantly living on the edge of being either homeless or jobless, struggling to make ends meet and at the same time dealing with huge emotional pain of missing my friends and family back in Poland, especially my mama whom I love to the moon and back, and first heartbreaks with men whom I hoped would be my soulmate.
Upon reflection, I believe I was only able to deal with constant pain and loss by being resilient. Each time a tragedy happened, I found the strength to pick myself up and move on, heal and never, ever give up on life, even though I had my darkest moments of wanting to simply do that. Resilience had always been the key to my survival as a single woman in England, very often at a mercy of landlords, work managers or partners. The internal strength I called upon to deal with constant challenges life presented me with over and over again. My life turned out to be a huge test of perseverance and spiritual growth and learning from every experience, from every human encounter and very often from the ones which hurt me. I went to England as a naive, young girl and thirteen years later I turned into a woman with a wealth of human experience and spiritual awakening. The resilience which tested my endurance from day one, grew and grew, turning me into an unstoppable Polish woman, knowing exactly what she wants from life, what makes her happy, gives her peace and with enough willpower and strength to now share it with others in my book ‘Polish Girl’. It was not something I had ever expected to happen, especially while dealing with life-threatening depression for years, broken heart and physical and emotional pain of dealing with constant loss in life which turned out to be Transformational of the deepest spiritual level.
But the key to healing and finding that strength to keep living has always been…GRATITUDE. Feeling grateful for all that I already had, even if it seemed like nothing to start with. It was not easy to do initially, to be able to feel grateful for small, insignificant things when huge, bad and painful things were happening in my life. But I somehow learnt how to do it and I can bravely say now that; You can do it too. It takes effort. It is not easy but it is worth working on, as the rewards are immense. For me, instead of wanting each day to give up on life, life suddenly seemed like the biggest gift given to me ever and a pure miracle.
‘It can always be worse’- my mama used to say and it had always been the truth I could not argue with. When you think about all the other things that can go wrong, you will instantly be happier and grateful for what you do have: your health, family, friends, income, a comfortable bed to sleep in, sunrise, morning mist, love for nature and animals and humankind whilst feeling joy from just being ALIVE.
If I could work on my resilience and the strength to pick myself up after each and every fall, so can you.
I believe we can all do it.
NEVER, EVER GIVE UP ON LIFE!